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Official to doctors: Now is the time to hold talks with Bengal government

Pradip Mitra said he made the plea at a 'general body' meeting of junior doctors at NRS

By Sanjay Mandal in Calcutta

  • Published 17.06.19, 3:17 AM
  • Updated 17.06.19, 3:17 AM
Pradip Mitra at NRS hospital on Sunday.
Pradip Mitra at NRS hospital on Sunday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

The protest by junior doctors had reached its high point and they should now hold talks with the state government and resume work, the director of medical education told the protesters at the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Sunday.

Pradip Mitra said he made the plea at a “general body” meeting of junior doctors at NRS.

The doctors, who have been on strike since the assault on two interns of NRS after the death of an elderly patient there, announced after the meeting that they were ready to meet the chief minister at a venue of her choice but the meeting had to be held in the presence of news media.

Mitra, who has held several rounds of discussions with the junior doctors since the agitation started on Tuesday, was asked by the protesters to address them during the general body meeting.

“While on my way to NRS, I received a message from my son that today was Father’s Day. I mentioned this in my address to the junior doctors. I told my son that on Father’s Day I was going to talk to a large number of sons,” Mitra told Metro.

The general body meeting was attended by around 200 junior doctors from several medical colleges.

Mitra said he told the junior doctors that their cause was justified at the beginning of the movement.

“I told them we, too, had taken part in movement but had never been able to garner so much support from across the country and abroad,” Mitra said.

“I told them every movement has a high point, from where it starts losing its appeal. The junior doctors’ movement has reached its high point and it’s time they joined talks with the government. It’s now a win-win situation for them, I told the doctors. This is the time they should resolve the crisis.”

Mitra said he asked the doctors why they were reluctant to visit Nabanna, which is the highest office of the state government.

“I asked them what was wrong in meeting the chief minister at Nabanna? She has not called them to her Kalighat house. Nabanna is the ideal place for the meeting” he said.

The agitating doctors had on Saturday refused to go to Nabanna to talk to Mamata Banerjee and insisted that she visit NRS to meet them.

Mitra said he urged the junior doctors to end their agitation and start treating patients. “Poor patients are suffering and this should end. We want immediate restoration of services,” he said.

Last Friday, five senior doctors of Calcutta met the chief minister at Nabanna and she agreed to meet the striking doctors. Soon after the meeting, Mitra went to NRS to communicate the message to the doctors.

A large number of doctors rejected his appeal and demanded that the chief minister come down to NRS.

“I am happy that the junior doctors have agreed to meet the chief minister,” Mitra said on Sunday night.

The director of medical education arrived at NRS on Sunday afternoon with the principals of several medical colleges. Towards the end of the general body meeting, the agitating doctors invited him to address them, sources said.

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